NYT best selling author

Monday, December 31, 2007

Speaking of dreams...

In order to write my novel, WAKE, I had to do a good deal of research on dreams. A lucid dream is a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming and you will remember the dream. Lucid dreams come into play in this book, and they have in my own life as well. I get a lot of my ideas for plots and events in my books from my own dreams.

There are lots of "typical" dreams. Who hasn't had a "falling" dream? I'm no expert at interpreting dreams, but some seem obvious in their meanings.

Last night, I had a dream that I was in my senior high English classroom. The only weird thing about the dream was that Mr. VanDenBerge was the teacher -- he was my math teacher back in the day. What's he doing teaching English, huh?

Anyway, Mr. VanDenBerge (a teacher I liked) gave me a "D" on a writing assignment. Pfft. Can you guess that I'm anxious to see what readers and reviewers think about my book?

Monday, December 17, 2007


Look! I won a badge and I didn't have to do anything. Isn't it cute? Thanks to Lisa McGlaun for thinking of me.

In the writing world, things are winding down. I'm on little break from writing at the moment. Working on some marketing ideas. Speaking of that, if you aren't my friend on myspace, facebook, or goodreads, why not? The links are in the side bar. Come be my BFF.

I am trying to decide what to cook for Christmas dinner. It'll be just the four of us, so I hate to put a ton of effort into it. I may have my new favorite place, Midwestern Meats, deliver me one of those "just put it in the oven" meals. If you live in the Mesa area, they are wonderful butchers and they know everything.

And as for Survivor last night... plah. I wish Courtney had won.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Best Book You've Read This Year

I've read a lot of books this year. More than most years. Mostly I read young adult novels, and some of my favorites this year were:

Every Crooked Pot by Rene Rosen
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
by Chris Crutcher (which came out years ago but I just re-read it last month)

Also by Crutcher -- his latest, called DEADLINE. I'm in the middle of this one right now.

What have you read this year that you'd recommend?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.

Test your vocabulary, have fun, and give free rice to stop world hunger, all at the same time.

Go here: Free Rice

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


What a blast.

I just returned from a short trip -- my first time in the big city. With me was author Lisa McGlaun. We had a blast together!

It was a tremendous visit. I spent Thursday with my amazing editor Jennifer Klonsky (who is so funny and very cool) and the fabulous team at Simon Pulse. It was so cool to meet them all and put faces to their email addresses. They are really supportive of my book and we had a great meeting. Then Jen took me to lunch at a cool restaurant in Rockefeller Center where our prime seat overlooked the famous ice rink. Cool! I also saw Tori Spelling in the S&S offices. Maybe I should contact Gawker. (Nah.) My roommate Lisa saw Holly Hunter.

That evening I dined with my agent, Michael Bourret, whom I love love love. We went to Sapa, an Asian-French restaurant. Michael knew the chef, who kept sending out extra dishes for us to try. It was delicious, great music too, and I highly recommend the restaurant.

Friday I hooked up with a smattering of friends including the highly entertaining Antonio Pagliarulo, who kept Lisa and me laughing all evening through the pouring rain that night.

And Saturday, before we headed back to the airport, was breakfast in Times Square. I paid $3.75 for some cream cheese to go on my bagel. That? Is ridiculously funny to me.

You? Must now tell me about your trip to NYC and your famous people sightings.

Monday, November 05, 2007

November is National Peanut Butter Lovers' Month

When Janie Hannagan, the main character in WAKE, needs some fast protein, she'll go for the peanut butter jar (if she can't get a Snickers bar, that is). Coincidentally, peanut butter is one of my most favorite foods.

For a recipe on making your own peanut butter, and for instructions on how to grow peanuts right there in your very own house, check out brownielocks.com.

If you manage to grow some, let me know!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Contest winners

Winners have all been notified via email!

If you didn't hear from me, that means you didn't win -- not this time anyway! But I will have more contests in the upcoming months, so stay tuned.

Thanks to all SEVENTY of you who entered -- your nightmares were great! I loved reading them all. Some of them were very much like nightmares I've had myself. Freaky! Janie wouldn't want to get sucked into half of them, that's for sure.

Congrats to the winners!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Contest ends Halloween at midnight!

If you haven't yet entered to win fabulous prizes, see the post below this one for details.

Yesterday I received the WAKE dog tags and they are suh-weet! They are all silvery-shiny aluminum with the word WAKE etched into them. Very cool, not obnoxious.

And today, Robin Brande shared a little bit about WAKE on her blog (she managed to get her hands on an ARC of the book). Just a little over 4 months to release day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

CONTEST!! Ends Halloween Night at Midnight

Woo, baby! It's time, peeps.

Time for the First Official WAKE Contest!! Follow the directions below and you could win one of the following very free, amazingly fabulous prizes:

-- An advance copy of WAKE (1)*

-- A giant 24" x 36" glossy WAKE poster (1)*

-- A smaller, less glossy, yet still completely delectable WAKE poster (1)*

-- A WAKE dog tag on a 24" chain (10)*

Here's how you enter:

1. Click to go to my official website, here http://lisamcmann.com. Scroll down until you see the link, "Email Me!" and click on it.
2. In the subject line, write "WAKE CONTEST"
3. In the body of the email, tell me in a few sentences about a nightmare you've had. (Keep it G or PG-rated, puh-leaze! Or I'll delete it and you'll be disqualified.) If you don't remember dreams, make something up! I'll never know the difference.

That's it. Simple. GO!

WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED ON NOVEMBER 1, 2007, via email. If you don't hear from me by midnight Pacific coast time, you did not win.

Contest FAQs (well, actually, just the answers. You can guess the questions if you are bored):

1. Chosen randomly.

2. Draw them from a hat.

2.5 A cowboy hat, if you must know.

3. Because I said so. It's my contest.

4. No, I'm totally serious. G or PG-rated dreams only.

5. No, I'm not a cowboy. I just like hats.

6. I will ask winners for their mailing addresses via email -- don't send them now.

7. Teens, college students, librarians, teachers, dads, moms...anybody reading this is eligible to enter the contest.

8. (x)* <--- indicates the quantity of that particular item I have to give away in this contest. One prize per person.

9. You really need to email me if you want to enter, yes. If you post a comment here, you are not officially entering the contest. I might forget about you if you are not tucked safely into my CONTEST inbox folder, and I don't want that to happen.

10. Absolutely NOT. I will not send you spam or sell your email address or do whatever those nasty people do without telling you. I hate that.

11. Truth? Because I want you to visit my website. That's why. Humor me.

12. I <3 u 2

Friday, October 12, 2007

The best advice

I've ever received about writing was this:

Think of the one thing your protagonist would never, ever do.

Then, make him do it.

On a related note:

Think of the one thing you would never ever do again.
I know what mine is.

Acrylic fingernails.

1. Ow. They hurt.
2. I couldn't type. TRAGEDY!
3. I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic, dreaming that each of my fingers were in tiny individual jail cells. And ow! (see #1)

Never. Ever. Again.

What's your one thing?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fine dining

On Thursday night I had the pleasure of dining with the fabulous Robin Brande, author of Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature, and PJ Haarsma, author of The Softwire. PJ's lovely family was there as well. So was a terrific school librarian and several of the staff of Changing Hands Bookstore, including the amazing children's book buyer, Faith, who never seems to rest, and Faith's wonderful parents. It was a great little party.

We went to this cool gourmet pizza place called Picazzo's in Tempe.

We talked about very important things like wheat gluten and Sharpie pens, and then Robin let me try her sacred book signing pen. It was so amazing -- I *had* to have one. So Faith's mother invited me over for coffee and said she would give me one of her Sharpie Ultra Fine Point pens if I came over. Isn't she so sweet????

Anyway, after dinner I went to the rest room and there...

in the restroom was...

a carafe...

of mouthwash. With cute little disposable cups.

The mouthwash was blue.

And so I dragged Robin into the bathroom to show her this interesting development in restroom etiquette. And then we had a great little discussion with Faith's mom about religion and the church right there in the bathroom, all the while urging patrons to try out the mouthwash.

The thing about the mouthwash, though, that still niggles on the edge of my brain, is the thought of all those strangers spitting into the same sink.

Is that weird?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I got my first bound copy, an uncorrected proof, an ARC, a galley...whatever you like to call it, of WAKE. It's so cool! Yarrrrr!

And? Also? Happy National Talk Like a Pirate Day.

(What else do pirates say besides "Yarrrr?")

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Simon & Schuster Spring Catalog sez:

Lisa McMann

a dark paranormal page-turner in the tradition of
The Sixth Sense.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other
people’s dreams is growing tiresome. Especially the falling
dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the
sex-crazed dreams. And then there are the nightmares. Like the
one where she’s in a strange house . . . in a dirty kitchen . . . and a
grotesque monster with knives for fingers is coming for her. This
is the nightmare she keeps falling into and, for the first time, Janie
is a participant in someone else’s twisted psyche.

(This is for the adult catalog -- only six children's books make it into the adult catalog, so woo hoo! There will be another listing in the S&S Children's catalog)

Friday, August 31, 2007

I am happy to report

that I have made significant progress in the area of "appropriate bookstore behavior." Yesterday, I successfully brought postcards of my book into Changing Hands Bookstore (the best bookstore in the world) and delivered them to a wonderful employee named Steve, and I did not trip, swear, or fling my purse at any old ladies.

However, when searching for a pen, I did have to dump all my stuff out of my purse onto the counter, and a tampon rolled out and fell on the floor on the other side. (Yes, OF COURSE it was unused and still in it's wrapper. How crass do you think I am?)

Score one for me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Let's talk about workspaces, woo hoo.

I used to have a desk. Like any good desk, it was covered with craploads of stuff, because that is what desks are for -- to put things on.

I don't write at my desk. There's too much crap on it, and it's not a comfortable place for me to write. I write in the green chair in my "office," which consists of the green chair and ottoman in the living room.

So now, my crapload of stuff is on the ottoman. Mail, magazines, notes about manuscripts (yellow sticky notes, of course -- can't find a notebook to save my life), my sexy half-glasses -- yup, nothing makes you feel old like 1.5 prescription half glasses so you can read the computer screen.

And today, I think we have reached maximum capacity. Things are falling off. I have a small space cleared for my tootsies to rest, and the piles are bleeding over into my space.

I may actually have to go through and sort things.

I hate doing that.

What does your workspace look like? Am I alone? Or is clutter important to you too?

And most importantly, what is on your desk?

Never mind the wrinkles...

You Are 23 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dear USA,

You're not bad either.

WAKE is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com too.

Wheee! We're rolling now!

Order your copy before they run out.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's that time again

A trip to Michigan always reminds me of the Chronicles.

Hope you are having a productive summer. I'll get some new material up here in the next couple weeks. Meanwhile, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Help Tsunami victims. Yeah...remember them?

A note from Richard Lewis, author of THE KILLING SEA, a YA novel about the tsunami. Richard lives in Bali. He has seen incredibly heart-wrenching evidence of the effects of this disaster, and he's trying to sponsor children who have been orphaned by this. He is using his advance money for THE KILLING SEA to sponsor children in Aceh.


I just got a letter from the second student whose school fees I am paying this next year out of the donation from my advance.

Mursyida is now 16 years old. She lost her whole family except for two brothers, one younger (actually, the Indonesian she writes in doesn’t make it clear if this sibling is a brother or sister) and one older. Her mother was never found. To add to the tragedy, her father survived the tsunami but that night died in the mosque where they were taking refuge...

More at the link.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oh heck.

I have an ISBN. And a page on the Simon & Schuster website.

I think I'm going to cry.

Go look.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I *heart* ninth graders

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting one of the largest high schools just outside of Washington D.C., and it was a total blast. I spent the day hanging out in my dear friend Ilse's classroom and got to chat with lots of 9th graders about writing.

It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but the students were terrific. I started off my talk in each class by asking questions.

"Because I write for teens," I said, "I need to know the language. What's the latest terminology? I need to know the latest buzzwords, the newest lingo, the urban words of the day. I already know what a roller (pronounced "rollah," natch) is. What else is new?" That got a laugh. And then they pelted me with jargon, some of which I'm proud to say I already knew, but most of it was new to me.

I also asked what they were reading, and got some great feedback there too. We talked about my book, WAKE, a little, and they had some terrific suggestions for me. They asked great questions, like, "How do write a book that is going to be part of a series?" And "How do you get through writing the boring parts of the books?"

Of course I answered, "My books don't have any boring parts." *grin*

One of the best parts of the trip was having tons of bling to give out to the school. Many, MANY thanks to my amazing publisher, Simon Pulse, for donating EIGHT CARTONS of books for the school's summer reading program!! Holy moley, I was blown away by their generosity, as was the teacher and the head of the English Department.

And big thank yous go to my YA author buddies who provided me with signed copies of their books to hand out, as well as buttons, bookmarks, and pencils. You guys made my visit really special. Here's the list of the great folks who helped out -- click on their names to learn about their books:

Antonio Pagliarulo -- CELEBUTANTES - ON THE AVENUE (just released!)
Heather Brewer -- EIGHTH GRADE BITES (comes out in August!)
Caridad Ferrer -- ADIOS TO MY OLD LIFE (her new book IT'S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT comes out August 21)
Renee Rosen -- EVERY CROOKED POT (on bookshelves in 3 weeks!!)
Richard Lewis -- THE KILLING SEA (he even sent a postcard from Bali to go with the book!)

And Ilse, you're a bun. Thanks for inviting me!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Heading to the east coast

Going to Maryland to visit my dear friends and to speak to classrooms full of 9th graders about writing. Woo hoo!

Back next week to tell you about it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shocked, I tell you. Shocked!

There's a common thread among YA and Middle Grade authors that has turned into a bit of a joke for those of us who have children in the age groups we write for: our own kids don't read our books.

This was true for me until yesterday.

I've been working on a middle grade fantasy novel. Just finished the rough draft the other day, woot! What happens then is that my hubby and I sit down with it. He reads it, tells me what works and what doesn't. Only this time, when the kids heard us talking, first one and then the other perked up. Since I had the first 100 pages printed out, the first kid picked it up and started. By evening, both were reading different parts of the manuscript while hubby read on the computer.

And then.
Out of nowhere.

I had three beta readers bombarding me with nits from three different sections of the manuscript. Oy! I was both delighted and, to tell the truth, a little bristly. (I don't think the kids have learned the value of the "critique sandwich" theory yet. Ouch!)

But by bedtime, I had two kids urging me to hurry with my edits so I could print out the rest of the manuscript. Even the kid who doesn't like to read. I am shocked.

How cool is that?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lizard season

We've definitely entered lizard season out here in the desert. So far we've rescued two from drowning in the pool. A third one didn't make it, even after I made my son do chest compressions on it. Those darn big ones -- they don't float nearly so well as the little guys. Sad day.

Manuscript copyedits are done on WAKE, yay! I feel like I learned a new language with all those proofreading marks. I also learned that I, use, too many, commas. And I'm terrible with bring/take. Yikes.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A new title?

It looks that way. YAY!

Introducing Janie book 1 under its new title:


Book 2 is still a go with FADE.

*please note: This is the third time we've changed the title for this book, and I've found that it's not the easiest thing to go through. So if you hate it? Lie to to me, baby, because I don't think it'll change again.

Friday, April 27, 2007

What not to do when talking to bookstore clerks about your upcoming book.

Today I went out to my favorite bookstore, CHANGING HANDS, which was recently voted the #1 independent bookstore in ALL OF AMERICA by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. No pressure. Especially since I went there purposely to chat with the YA book buyer about my book and find out if they'd maybe do my launch party, since it's the PERFECT location and has an attached restaurant.

I was nervous, but I did okay. I even remembered what my book was about.

I spent $50 on books to show her I'm a supporter of their bookstore (which I am, but I've never made pointed contact with them before).

And then.

The clerk who rang up my purchase asked me a question about my book while I was closing my purse (which has a long shoulder strap), and I got all nervous. I slung my purse over my shoulder, trying to be all nonchalant, and assuming, like every other time I've ever done this, that my ARM was inside the damn LOOP of it. But it wasn't.

And it went sailing off behind me (it was quite heavy, since my phone was attached) and hit a old woman who had one of those walker shopping carts.

So. How was your day?

(and yes, you may point and laugh)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I have a DATE.

A publishing date for book 1, that is. March 4, 2008. Isn't that the most perfect date ever?

And lookit over in the side bar!

a countdown-o-meter.

Innit cute?


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Janie book 2

is finished well ahead of schedule and awaiting a first read by my lovely editor Jen. It will be a few months before we start working on revisions for that one.

Meanwhile, how do I get Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennett on Heroes, aka The Cheerleader) to read and give me a blurb for my first book?

Hayden, are you out there? Do you read my blog? Will you read my first novel, please? I think you'd really like it. My Janie, she's a lot like your Claire! Except, well, not really. In fact, Janie doesn't really care for cheerleaders, much. But I'm sure she'd like Claire. Oh totally, she would. Yeppers. So, please?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

On Being a Newbie Author

I'm increasingly fascinated by the book publishing process, and many fears have been laid to rest over the past few months. As I learn how this all works, I have found some really great resources written by very generous authors on the HOW of being a successful author. Author of the Jack Daniels trilogy, JA KONRATH, is among the most generous with his time and advice that I've discovered so far. If you are interested in straightforward information and advice not only on getting your books published, but sold (!!), click on his name for a link for his blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. Plus!! JA Konrath has two free technothriller e-books he's giving away on this blog: THE LIST and ORIGIN.

Here are just a few of my own discoveries and tips:

1. Agents and editors are amazingly helpful people. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

This seems obvious, but when novelists first begin the querying process, it's pounded into our heads that we must follow a strict set of rules regarding proper, professional behavior -- and above all, don't be a nuisance! Learning the time frame of publishing is a hard lesson. A query to an agent might take a day to garner a response, or it might take four months. We learn that it is not proper to follow-up until the appropriate amount of time has passed. When in doubt, allow three months. For partials, four months. Full manuscript, six. (Of course, many agents respond much more quickly than this.) As agonizing as it is, we follow these guidelines.

After querying for months or years and finally getting an agent, we tend to continue in the pre-agent mode: We must not make a nuisance of ourselves. We must not bother the agent. Some new authors sit in angst, wondering how, why, when, for months.

It took me a few months to feel comfortable emailing my agent with questions. And guess what? When I emailed him, he responded with answers! And now that I have an editor, she responds to my questions as well! I just have to ask them. Isn't that simple?

2. Agents and editors are human. They have lives outside of work. They get the flu sometimes. They likely have good days and bad days, just like everybody. And you know what else? They are funny. All the ones I know are, anyway. I adore my team.

3. Being On Time is a good way to be.

The weird thing I discovered about being an author is that I've been in charge of my own writing schedule all along, and when I sold a book, that changed. Working on my own, I rarely had a day where I felt like procrastinating or blowing off work. Now that I have people expecting things from me, I have this tremendous urge to procrastinate (rebellion from my teen years has re-surfaced!). This new urge fights against my inherent anal tendencies to be early for everything. It's quite a humorous battle raging in my head. Odds are high that procrastination loses this battle every time, though.

4. Work ahead -- once you sell your novel, there are many new things to consider. Marketing. Promotion. Public speaking, visiting classrooms, booksignings (yikes! You mean, like, physically leaving the house?), marketing gizmos and gadgets and giveaways, contests. Start the brainstorming early, so that when you actually have cover art and a definite title, you are ready to promote.

Although I don't have a pub date yet, it is likely to be less than a year away for Janie book 1 (spring 2008). I've finished my first round of edits and sent them off. Simon Pulse has my bio and author picture for the spring '08 catalog -- they are working on that already.

If my revisions are acceptable to my editor, Janie will go to the copy editor. And now, I must work on the ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS page -- I'm told they'll need this soon. Wheee! This is so exciting.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Time to edit!

On Saturday, I received my marked up manuscript in the mail from my editor, so now it's time to do the first edits on Janie. Thankfully there are no major changes necessary and no over-arching plot lines that have to be fixed, but I still see a lot of red! Yikes! And what I thought was a pretty grammatically correct and clean manuscript turns out to have a few embarrassing third-grader mistakes, like YOUR/YOU'RE (Dang!). There is definitely something to be said for reading/editing a hard copy of a manuscript -- some mistakes are too easy to miss on a screen.

My editors, Jen and Caroline, did an amazing job and now they really have me thinking hard about a few concepts and suggestions for changes.

Despite all the red marks, most of them are simple fixes. The handful of other suggested changes will take me some time to think about and when I'm all organized, we'll have a discussion about what to do.

This is all very exciting!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bad blogger

I have neglected this blog, partly because I don't have much news. Right now I'm sort of in waiting mode with my lovely editor. She's working on Janie, and while I wait for revisions, I'm working on a couple of other books. Both are quite different from Janie, and both are turning out to be a lot of fun. More on those another time.

We are still considering titles for Janie 1 and 2, and may go with simple one-word titles with sophisticated cover art. At the moment, DREAM for book 1 and FADE for book 2 are at the top of list. Oh, and I got my formal contract, signed and returned. Things are moving along steadily.

I got my author photos taken -- the pics are on my Myspace page if you want to see a few of them. The link to that page is over there on the right. I am looking forward to seeing what sort of cover design S&S comes up with. And now that it's April, I'm guessing we're less than a year away from launch date, though I don't have an exact date yet.

My sister is visiting from Michigan this week, so we're taking it easy and she's enjoying the sunshine and warm temps (90/60 pretty much every day). Thinking about driving down to Nogales for a day -- Nogales is on the AZ/Mexico border.

Hope you are all having a lovely week! I hope to have more interesting news to share over the coming months. :)

Friday, March 09, 2007

The week in review...

Wrote about 5000 words on the next novel.

Spent countless hours as a parent representative for my kid's school on a panel, interviewing principals. Eighteen of them, to be exact. My brain is fried.

And now I know the principal buzz words: Respect. Dignity. Wiping down tables in the lunchroom (I swear to God, at least 15 of them said they do this). Team player. Facilitator. The teachers work the hardest. Greeting the kids when they come off the bus. Shooting baskets with the kids at recess. Honor, respect, dignity (over and over). Engagement. Enthusiasm. High expectations.

Boy. That was interesting.

What did YOU do this week??

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New title...

It happens a lot. Luckily, I wasn't in love with the title of my book in the first place. In fact, I'm sort of excited to have some help in renaming my book.

Janie Hannagan: Dream Catcher ... catch you later.

So, now what to name it? This is the tough part. When I first wrote it (for "it" is what we are calling it, now) I had huge troubles coming up with a title. So now what? It remains to be seen, but I imagine "Dream" will be in there somewhere. My editor and I joked about calling it "Angsty Teen Dreamer." But now I need to get serious and think of something. Agent and editor and editor's assistant are all thinking too.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Keeping track

If you haven't found it yet, I started keeping track of things folks are saying about Janie Hannagan: Dream Catcher. If you are so bored that you'll read anything, feel free to take a peek.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Woo Hoo!

http://www.nuclearcentury.com/ - Glitter Maker

"Janie Hannagan: Dream Catcher," a book for teens and up, will hit bookstores in spring of 2008, with its sequel in autumn '08. Published by Simon Pulse.

What's it about?

For 17 year-old Janie Hannagan, getting sucked into other people's dreams is growing tiresome. Especially the falling dreams. The naked but nobody notices dreams. And the sex-crazed teenager dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her half a lifetime.

But then there are the nightmares that leave her blind and paralyzed in fear, even after the dreams are over. Those are the worst. Because one day, someone's going to notice her freefalling to the floor after somebody's study hall naptime nightmare, or collapsing outside a resident's room at the nursing home where she works. Or her worst fear: careening headlong into a tree if she ever drives past *that* house again.

She can't tell anybody about it. They'd never believe her. And she can't do anything to stop it. Until she gets to know Cabel Strumheller, a secretive, pothead flunkie turned pretty-boy. And he accidentally falls into a dream with her on the senior high bus trip to Stratford.

It's his own dream.
And it's a dream he'd rather no one knows about.
Especially Janie Hannagan.

I am thrilled to be a part of Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse).
And did I mention I love my agent? Because I do.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I met an online writer friend

in person for the first time, today. Whee!

It was a fun lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, and then we had to check out B&N to find our fellow writer friends' books.

And I made a new bookstore friend. I hope he works there forever -- he was really smart about the books, knew where everything was, had terrific suggestions. *sigh*

It's nice to find a bookstore worker who actually knows a lot about the books. I wish he worked on commission.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Since my brain is fried,

and I can't pull together a coherent blog post of my own, I bring you a spot-on post from author Holly Kennedy.

Just so that you know why I forget to call you back...for six months. It's not you, it's me.



P.S. Weather in the Phoenix valley: warming up to 60, finally! Monday we had snow on the mountains again, and ice (read: ICE!!) on the car windshield. You could sell an ice scraper here for a hundred bucks. Thank goo'ness we still had one in the car from when we drove here from Michigan.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Slang and stuff

WEATHER in the Phoenix Valley: Forty degrees and raining at 2pm. This is insane.

On to the topic of the day. When writing historical fiction, it's a bonus when you can find slang terms. For the first historical I wrote, it was harder because the characters spoke German and lived in England, slowly learning English, and man, that was nuts trying to accurately nail the process, while still writing the entire book in English.

On my second historical, which I'm just starting (yeah, we had a few paranormals in between), life is easier for two reasons. One, I grew up there and know the local dialect with Dutch influence, subtle as it may be (oh, knock it off). Two, a simple Google search brings up websites with slang of the 1920s...it's the berries (aka bee's knees or cat's pajamas)! Though getting used to the word "Bimbo" being used as a compliment (A tough guy) is a little difficult. Insert the word "Bimbo" into a book without proper context could have your readers scratching their heads.

"Bum's rush" today has shades of a sexual nature. In 1925, it meant to get kicked out of an establishment.

"Butt me" sounds, um.... but it was a common phrase referring to lighting up a cigarette, and a "Dick" was, of course, a private investigator.

If you write anything other than present day fiction, a great place to check your slang words is an etymology dictionary. I used it to check the word fink. Did that word exist in 1930? If so, how was it used?

But, as one wise commenter mentioned in the previous post, technology has come a long way in the past 20 years, and the language has changed along with it.

So writers, don't be a pill. Get on the trolley, or you'll be all wet.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Researching is FUN

You may disagree, but I think researching is a fascinating adventure.

I'm working on a new novel that takes place in 1930, in the town of my birth. The setting is one I know well -- not because it exists anymore (well, the land is still there), but because I've spent so many hours researching it that I feel like I know it well -- I can picture the buildings, the landscape, the views... yes, the view hasn't changed much in 80 years. And I've been to the site many times.

I'm so excited about this story. Sometimes there's nothing more exciting than real life in a small town in 1930. I'll tell you more as I make some progress.

Meanwhile, I'm reading a history of the 1920s, so I have a very good understanding of the political, social, and economic environment leading up to my story.

Next time: Fun slang words from the 20s and 30s. Some of them might surprise you.


Oooh, Snap

It's been cold here in the desert. Temperatures in the 20s at night have caused people's water pipes to burst and damaged citrus crops (not to mention my two 20-foot tall ficus trees).

So while you East coasters have been lounging in the January heat wave, we've witnessed a cold snap like we haven't seen in years around the Phoenix valley (so they tell me, anyway). Now's your chance to point and laugh. I mean, like, my swimming pool temp is like totally down to 46 degrees.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


"Once On This Island" is a musical, set in Jamaica.

My daughter just landed a small part in the Actor's Youth Theater production of this.(squeee!) After having a blast with The Three Musketeers last fall, she thinks this one sounds equally fun, maybe even more so. Rehearsals start Saturday.

Performances in early March.
Tickets: $10 for adults and...um...less than that for kids 10 and under.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Beaker apparently wasn't an option

You Are the Swedish Chef

"Bork! Bork! Bork!"
Your happy and energetic - with borderline manic tendencies.
No one really gets you. And frankly, you don't even get you.
But, you sure can whip up a great chocolate mousse

So, hordes of minionses...

where are you? I'm waiting. *tap tap tap*

I know, you're taking down your plastic trees and Menorot*. I'll be here when you're done.

*edited for proper spelling, hat-tip to Sasha