Saturday, October 18, 2014

DUPLICITY Advance Reading Copies: 15 Book Giveaway!

St. Martin's Press is giving away 15 advanced reading copies of DUPLICITY on Goodreads! You could be one of the first to read it, five months before it releases. It's also proven to increase your awesome points. So get on it:

Click here to enter!

One of these could be YOURS

Giveaway window closes October 27.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Interview: Chasing the Crazies

I'm honored to be over at Ms. Amy Trueblood's blog today, talking about queries (shudder), how I knew my agent was The One, and what kept me going when the rejections were rolling in.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Why Pitch Wars Is Not Your Last Contest

First, I want to thank everyone so much for trusting me with their words. I received 71 submissions from 71 very brave writers, which gave me a lot of amazing options, and a lot of hours fretting over my final picks. As I mentioned on twitter, it's like being told to pick two cookies from a giant box of new flavors.

I will be replying to almost everyone who subbed to me, so look for my email the week following Brenda's announcement of the mentees. My reply might be questions I had for the pitch, or my reaction to your opening page, if I found the pitch to be solid. You will not hear from me if you were chosen as someone else's mentee or alternate, as I don't want to conflict with your mentor's advice. Apologies for that, but please accept a huge smile and a handshake from me right now, because I'm so very glad to see you move on!

Remember that this business is highly subjective. That sucks, but it also doesn't, because many of you just need to find the right person—you're doing everything right. There were a lot of solid submissions that I could see someone falling in love with, but that weren't quite a match for me. Heck, I'll admit right now that I could never get into Hunger Games (though I do enjoy the movies). Should Ms. Collins have stopped writing because I passed on it? I think you know the answer to that.

I also want to impress on you how quickly things can change, and how this contest is a stepping stone, not a barrier. A year and a half ago, I was sitting exactly where you were, chewing-my-sleeves-off anxious to hear back from the mentors I'd so carefully selected. I'd been polishing my manuscript for months. I had a query that was getting a thumbs up from everyone who critiqued it. A freelance editor had raved about my latest revision, and I had a few contests under my belt, so I knew how to prepare. I was so ready for it to be "my time."

I was about to find out I didn't make it. It stung, yes. Rejection always does. But I had some positive feedback from the mentors I'd subbed to and a growing feeling in my gut that this story, as much as I loved it, wasn't "the one."

I shelved the manuscript. I went back to an idea I'd played around with the year before. I finished it. I entered another contest. I ... well, I lost that contest. But I went back and ripped my first chapter to shreds, and the next contest I entered, I won not only an place among the finalists, but my amazing agent who sold me to a Big Five dream house.

This could be your story in a year.

Don't give up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


At long last, I'm finally able to share Duplicity's cover! It debuted on last week, and is basically the most awesome thing ever. A million billion thank yous to the super talented Kerri Resnick for this design.


Here it is!!

You guys ... I think it might be a real book soon...?!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pitch Wars - August 2014

(What is Pitch Wars? Click here for the deets!)


For these obvious qualifications:

  • Impeccable taste in dark chocolate.
  • Love of mountains, the ocean, funny people, sarcastic people, random thoughts and fireplaces.
  • East Coast survivor (lived in MA and NY). I now ride a horse to work in CO.*
  • Video game savant.
  • Swoon-worthy husband who is a marathon runner, expert hunter, and Forensic DNA Analyst. He has a flashy agent badge, a conceal-to-carry permit, and has literally caught us dinner before. If zombie apocalypse survival is a priority to you, well. I think you know which mentor to choose.
  • Part hacker I mean... in my other life I used to program stuff.

For these actually relevant qualifications:

  • In January 2014, my Pitch Wars mentee and I tied for second place overall with nine full requests. (To read her entry, click here.)
  • Represented by the incomparable Brianne Johnson of Writers House, who found me in an online writing contest much like this one.
  • Bri is also one of THE Pitch Wars Agents. Am I conspiring to find my next agency sibling? Yes. Yes I am.
  • My debut, a YA cyberthriller called DUPLICITY, releases from Macmillan/Thomas Dunne Books on St. Patrick's Day (3/17/2015).
  • I write both boy and girl POV. I have a YA fantasy on the shelf and am currently polishing a YA horror. I have helped many a critique partner with world-building.
  • My own work has been through many developmental edits by critique partners, my agent and my editor. I know what to look for, what to leave alone, and how to present editorial notes in a constructive, encouraging fashion.

And the super important stuff goes in paragraph format:

I have done full manuscript critiques for several fellow writers, almost all of whom I'm happy to say are now agented and/or have book deals. Should I be lucky enough to work with you, expect that I will be 100% honest about the strengths of your work as much as its weaknesses, though always in the interest of preserving your vision. You will have full creative freedom to address my concerns as you see fit. As long as you're willing to address them, we're going to get along just fine.

Please With A Cherry On Top, Send Me:
All genres of YA (with the exception of those in the "Not A Best Match" list below). Horror, thrillers, fantasy, contemp, magical realism, etc. I'm drawn to boy POV as much as girl. I love quirky, flawed characters and wacky, unique plots. I have a soft spot for anti-heroes, unreliable narrators, creepy things, humor, Twinkies, and psychological anything. Some of my favorite authors are Patrick Ness, Laini Taylor, Maggie Stiefvater, and V.E. Schwab. For titles I love, click here and check out my Recommended Reads. You can also find out more about me on my official bio page and on Twitter. To submit to me, click here!

I'm Not Your Best Match For:
Novels in verse, high/epic fantasy (elves, kingdoms, etc), dystopian/apocalyptic (incl. anything with a central government/entity the MC is working to join or overthrow), retellings, historical (time travel still OK), war/political themes, half-human characters or romance, though I enjoy romance as a subplot.

If you subbed to me last Pitch Wars: You are welcome to resub, provided the manuscript doesn't fall in the "not a best match for..." list above.

In summary:
You have an amazing story to tell. I have a foot in the door.


*Part of this sentence is a slight exaggeration.