Monthly Archives: May 2011

tbr lists!

for the last ten years or so, i’ve let reading for fun slide. but now that the kids are older and more independent, i’ve managed to reclaim some of my time. so here is my to-be-read list, more or less. some of these have been lying around the house forever, some are more recent purchases, but i do want to read these eventually.

jay-z: decoded (just finished today, huzzah! amazing, loved it)
markus zusak: the book thief (currently reading)
clamp: clover
kathryn stockett: the help
suzanne collins: catching fire (yeah, i’m behind)
sara gruen: water for elephants
david foster wallace: the pale king
diana gabaldon: an echo in the bone (got about a 5th through before i got bored…i wish i enjoyed the later volumes as much as i did the first 4…will finish, promise!)
bill bryson: at home
seth grahame-smith: abraham lincoln: vampire hunter
justin halpern: sh*t my dad says
laura hillenbrand: seabiscuit
eric akis: everyone can cook: slow cooker meals (ok, this has to count because reading it might finally compel me to break out the slow cooker i bought 2.5 years ago and have yet to open)
what’s on your tbr list? got a permanent one that never seems to change? have one with summer in mind?

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Getting There.

This post from author/agent Betsy Lerner’s site talks about what “making it” in publishing means. As a writer, I can’t imagine how crazy it’ll be to walk into a bookstore and see my book on a shelf. That just blows my mind. It kills me to think that people I don’t know will (hopefully) be reading the words I’ve strung together and slung onto pages and (even more hopefully) actually like them enough to keep reading.

Wow. Wow.

For a runner, would it be to complete that marathon? (For me, yes!) For a photographer, to have that spread in a national magazine? For a singer to land that recording contract? It’s cool to consider the possibilities.

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What’s On Your Playlist?

If you listen to music regularly, certain songs will forever become associated with certain events in your life. I tend to go through cycles, when specific songs will go through a heavy rotation for days and days, sometimes even weeks, at which point I suddenly decide I just can’t listen to it anymore. I’ll kill it from my active playlists and drop it into the abyss of my music library. And some songs just kind of hang around–a year later I’ll still be listening to it every once in a while.

I can’t write without listening to something, anything. Right now it’s sports radio while the Canucks are on their run, but usually it’s music. When I was writing The Assignment, I listened to a lot of Eminem, Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, some Drake, The Killers, Metric.

Sometimes it’s the mood you need to create, which might dictate what you listen to. But for me, it’s just enjoying the song. I usually run to the same songs, too, though I know for some runners they need a heavy beat, or something uptempo.

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Why I never told anyone I was writing.

This post from author Nathan Bransford’s blog pretty much sums it up. My fear of running into any of these situations. The only time I even got close to thinking of mentioning it was when I got the “so what do you DO all day???”

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It’s Really Real.

The steps along the way:

First, pounding out the rough draft.

Polishing it until your own novel begins to bore you.

Writing a query letter. Polishing that.

Submitting, submitting, submitting…then submitting some more. After awhile, rejections don’t hurt anymore.

Finally finding an awesome agent. I was lucky enough to be able to choose between offers, but it wasn’t easy. Leaving your baby in his hands.

Chewing your nails off and eating way too much junk food while you wait. And wait. And wait.

Then it finally happens. I still can’t believe it.

My book deal for my debut novel, on Publisher’s Marketplace:

May 18, 2011
Young Adult
Elsie Chapman’s THE ASSIGNMENT, set in a severely overpopulated world where everyone has an alternate — an “Alt”, a doppelganger, a virtual twin — and where one girl has to kill her Alt before her Alt kills her, to Chelsea Eberly atRandom House, in a pre-empt, by Steven Chudney from The Chudney Agency (NA).
Film: The Gotham Group

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